Husband murdered his wife, 26, chopped her body into 224 pieces then dumped remains in a ‘bag for life’ – after killing her puppy in washing machine

  • Nicholas Metson, 28, stabbed Holly Bramley, 26, at least four times in March 23
  • He chopped her up then dumped her remains in a river in a ‘bag for life’

An ‘evil monster’ who stabbed his wife to death and then cut her body into more than 200 pieces was today jailed for life.

‘Controlling’ Nicholas Metson was told he will have to serve a minimum of 19 years and 316 days behind bars before consideration for parole, after a judge heard how he dumped wife Holly Bramley’s remains in a ‘bag for life’ and other carrier bags in a river.

The court heard Metson, 28, had joked to police that his wife ‘might be hiding under the bed’ when officers responded to a concern for welfare call about her as the couple’s 16-month marriage splintered.

On Friday the Mail revealed how in the run-up to the March 2023 murder, Metson had punished the ‘beautiful and kind’ 26-year-old by killing her pets in gruesome fashion. 

A source said the killer once dumped Ms Bramley’s new puppy in a washing machine, leaving her to discover the dead dog inside with the drum still spinning.

On other occasions Ms Bramley confided that her partner had killed her hamsters by putting them in a food blender and the microwave oven, and once fled to a police station with her pet rabbits to escape him.


During the conclusion of a sentencing hearing this morning, His Honour Judge Simon Hirst said it was an aggravating feature that Metson never gave a reason for how and why he had killed his wife.

‘Holly’s family and friends will never know how and why she was killed,’ the judge said, adding that the fact Ms Bramley was cut in to 224 parts was also an aggravating feature and could not be explained by Metson’s autism.

‘That number of parts was far from necessary to remove Holly’s parts from your flat,’ Judge Hirst added.

The court heard Ms Bramley was stabbed four times after being grabbed by Metson and placed in a headlock.

Judge Hirst said it was clear a bite mark on Metson’s arm – which he showed to police to support a false claim that he had been the victim of domestic abuse – was caused by his victim as she desperately fought his vice-like grip as she was knifed in the bedroom.

She was dismembered in the bathroom ‘with a number of tools’, the judge said.

The court heard Metson kept the body at the couple’s 14th floor tower block flat in Lincoln for almost a week, before paying school friend Joshua Hancock £100 to help him dispose of the remains.

Judge Hirst said the pair drove with bags full of remains to the village of Bassingham, ten miles away, where they were dumped into the River Witham.

Victim impact statements read out at Lincoln Crown Court by Ms Bramley’s mother and siblings indicated Ms Bramley, a triplet, had been subjected to ‘coercive control and manipulation’ by the ‘evil monster’ and their marriage had ‘broken down irretrievably’.

The judge said it was clear from family statements that Ms Bramley, one of 13 siblings, was a ‘beautiful and kind’ young woman whose murder had left a ‘void’ for her loved ones.

The court heard that while officers were searching for Ms Bramley, they noticed a strong smell of ammonia and bleach at the couple’s flat, bloodstained sheets in the bathtub and a towel on the kitchen floor.

There was evidence of recent redecoration and cleaning, and dark stains on the bedroom floor, which tests later showed was her blood.

Metson punished the ‘beautiful and kind’ 26-year-old by killing her pets in gruesome fashion 

Holly and Metson pictured together

Holly and Metson pictured together

‘At one point Mr Metson joked she might be hiding under the bed,’ said prosecutor Gordon Aspden KC.

Early the following morning, CCTV from the tower block captured Metson using a shopping trolley to transport carrier bags down to this car via the lift.

Later that day, a walker ‘made a grim discovery’ when he noticed plastic bags and a ‘Bag For Life’ floating in the River Witham at Bassingham, one of which contained a severed hand.

By then, Metson had been searching online to find out ‘What benefits do I get if my wife has died?’ and ‘Can someone haunt me after they die?’

It took a Home Office Pathologist over 13 hours to examine everything, but such was the dismemberment the pathologist was unable to establish an exact cause of death.

Mr Aspden said Miss Bramley injuries went far beyond what was necessary to dismember her body.

‘In short after murdering Holly he destroyed her,’ Mr Aspden added.

Metson pleaded guilty to murder last month. He had previously admitted conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by disposing of Ms Bramley’s body on 25 March.

Hancock, also 28, of Waddington, Lincolnshire, pleaded guilty to obstructing a coroner in the execution of his duty by helping to dispose of Ms Bramley’s body. He said he was unaware Metson had murdered Ms Bramley but helped to dispose of her body parts after being offered cash.

Hancock also admitted two unrelated charges of attempted communication with a child and possessing drugs.

Judge Hirst said Hancock had been ‘motivated by money’ as he jailed him for three years and three months. The judge said it was an aggravating feature that not all of Ms Bramley’s body parts had been recovered.

In a statement released through police after the case, Ms Bramley’s family said she ‘loved to sing, dance, had a passion for animals and was rarely seen without a smile on her face.’

They added that her ‘vibrant spirit and infectious laughter filled our lives with joy’ and described how Ms Bramley ‘wanted nothing more than to become a mother’ one day.

But they said meeting Metson was the ‘beginning of a rocky road’ of domestic abuse which ‘we never managed to save her from’ and said they wanted to use their loss to call for others in a similar situation to seek help.

They added: ‘We, as a family, are asking and encouraging anyone living with domestic abuse to seek support and tell someone.

‘There are services out there who can help victims find the happiness and freedom they deserve.

‘We miss Holly so much our hearts are broken. But, if anything, we need her death to highlight that domestic abuse is NOT OK. ‘

The court heard Metson received a referral order in 2013 for a domestic assault on a previous partner.

In 2016 Metson was also given a community order for three offences of disclosing sexual images relating to another previous partner. A year later Metson admitted breaching a restraining order relating to the same victim.

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